Birgit Smith Burton is a respected leader in the fundraising profession having raised over $500 million during her more than 25-year career with the United Negro College Fund and Georgia Institute of Technology. As the Executive Director of Foundation Relations at Georgia Tech, she has worked closely with some of the country’s most prominent philanthropic private foundations including the Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, and Atlanta based Woodruff Foundation.
Birgit is a sought-after speaker on the topics of fundraising and diversity and has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as a “Faculty Star.” Recently, she was selected by Georgia Tech to participate in the first cohort of Leading Women @ Tech which has identified the next community of leaders who will guide the institution in the 21st century. Birgit has authored numerous articles on diversity in the fundraising profession and co-authored the book The Philanthropic Covenant with Black America. She served on the Design Team for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s study of African American philanthropy in metropolitan Atlanta.
Birgit serves on the boards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which represents over 33,000 members around the world, the A.E. Lowe Grice Scholarship Fund, and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. She is the founding chair of the African American Development Officers (AADO) network which for 17 years has supported diversity in the fundraising profession by promoting professional development and facilitating interaction among its members.
Birgit earned a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.